I’ve had the same conversation a dozen times with friends, and it goes like this:
Friend: Hey, did you see the new trailer for [movie we’re both excited about]?
Me: Nope, I try not to watch trailers for movies I want to see.
Friend: Really? But it’s so good! They showed this one part where—
Me: Ah…I’d rather you not tell me. I don’t like knowing too much ahead of time.
Friend: Ugh, okay…
[and then we talk about something else]
Most of my friends love having more trailers to watch.
I don’t like watching movie trailers.
I don’t avoid them completely, but I do not seek them out.
When I’m at the movie theater, I’ll watch the previews. No problem.
When I’m watching TV and a trailer comes on, I’ll watch it. No problem.
But I don’t look up movie trailers on YouTube or anywhere else. When new trailers come out for movies I want to see, I don’t pay attention to the news. When there are clips on my social media feeds, I scroll past them.
Because most movie trailers emphasize Big Moments. The trailer is not a teaser or an introduction. It’s full of actual scenes—important characters doing important things. I feel like that takes away from the experience when you go see the film. I don’t want to see those moments out of context.
I thought it might have been different in the past. Maybe 30 years ago, movie trailers were more like teasers. Maybe more recently, trailers included more Big Moments. But I’ve been watching a bunch of trailers from different years, and I don’t think that’s the case. Some older movies had trailers that gave away a lot. Some newer movies had trailers that don’t give away much at all.
Having more access to movie trailers—especially on the internet—gives us more exposure to more movie clips.
And I don’t want it.
I limit the movie trailers I watch, and I still feel like I know too much about upcoming movies. There are way too many places to see clips online.
It’s hard to avoid trailers and spoilers, but imagine if you could. Imagine watching…
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens without knowing Harrison Ford was in the movie
- Cast Away without knowing Tom Hanks gets off the island
- Jurassic Park without seeing the dinosaurs beforehand
It would change your experience in the movie theater—improve it.
It’s hard to avoid movie trailers, but I like to try. So, please stop asking me if I’ve seen the new trailer. I probably haven’t, and that’s on purpose.